NEW YORK, NY — The Columbia Fencing team has announced its captains for the 2017-18 season. The student-athletes selected to lead the Lions this season are seniors Katie Angen, Porter Hesslegrave, and Lena Johnson and juniors Iman Blow, Calvin Liang, and Nolen Scruggs. Angen, Hesslegrave and Johnson all captained the Lions in their junior seasons as well.
“All of our captains have demonstrated leadership on the fencing strip,” Coach Michael Aufrichtig said. “However, their inspiration to lead the team to be the best we can be with everything we do is what makes them Columbia Fencing Captains.”
Each of the captains represented Columbia at the 2017 NCAA Championships. There is one captain per weapon.
Angen, representing women’s epee, is coming off a 42-21 regular season, including a first team All-Ivy selection at Ivy League Championships. Johnson, a sabre fencer, also received a first team All-Ivy nod and went 47-21 on the season. These two seniors have fenced in three consecutive NCAA championships and have two national championship rings to prove it, but after falling short of the title last year – they are hungry to lead Columbia back to dominance.
“I’m excited to be a senior captain so I can push everyone to be the best they can be and learn from our complacency last year,” Angen said. “We had a target on our backs last season and getting third was the wake up call we needed to remind us never to settle and that we are capable of so much more.”
Rounding out the female captains is junior foil fencer Iman Blow. Blow is coming off what was a stellar sophomore year campaign for the New York Native. She went 19-4 at her first NCAA Championship and earned second team All-America honors. With Margaret Lu and Sara Taffel gone to graduation, Blow will look to continue Columbia’s tradition of strong women’s foil squads.
On the men’s side, Hesslegrave returns as captain representing the men’s epee team. He is coming off a 41-27 season and his second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. Hesslegrave is hard to miss during bouts, as one of the loudest screamers on the Lions. He will look to spread that enthusiasm to the team.
Nolen Scruggs enters his junior year after building a hefty resume last season. The Brooklyn native fenced his way to the NCAA Championship finals match in men’s foil and went home with a silver medal. That made him a first-team All-American. Scruggs was also named first team All-Ivy and was a part of Columbia’s all-Academic team. As a more reserved fencer that Hesslegrave, Scruggs will look to lead by example.
Calvin Liang is the men’s sabre representative in the captains group. He is coming off of his second consecutive NCAA Championship appearance. With Michael Costin ‘17CC gone from the men’s sabre lineup, Liang is the clear leader of the squad. Men’s sabre has just three returnees in Liang, and rising sophomores Andrew Doddo and Alexander Walker II.
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